When we heard that Can-Am was teaming up with Rolling Stone to do a tour of American music roots, our ears perked up. MPN recently sat down with Can-Am to discuss their custom video series called “Common Tread.” In the five-part cross-country series, Clint Carter rides a Spyder RT and a Ryker to meet the artists, venues and recording studios that keep the music storytelling legacy alive and attempts to bridge the divide between music’s past and future.
Motorcycles go hand-in-hand with music and the live concert scene. It’s been part of the experience for many years and a natural fit with Rolling Stone as the original counter-culture publication. RS tied in early on with bikers and the music they love, but it has also evolved. Now, Can-Am is tying in their popular Spyder three-wheeler and the Ryker in a fully inclusive way for all cultures. The success of the Spyder is partly due to more riders wanting the motorcycle experience but with a little more comfort or stability.
We spoke to Can-Am’s Martin Ethier, director, Global Marketing, On-Road, about the collaboration and how it came about. Ethier said that they chose Carter to take part in the series because they knew he would be a good fit for the project after talking to him. Carter is a motorcyclist and owns a vintage bike, so he was already comfortable with riding. It was important for Can-Am to create an original film that could combine riding on the road with having the knowledge and connections in the music industry. Clint fit the bill perfectly.
“Clint was asking many questions about the Spyder and wanted to know as much about it as possible. And so that’s why we decided to go with him,” Ethier said. “But we had to make sure he was able to ride and comfortable on the road, so we arranged to do a shoot in New York last September. He brought his wife, and they both loved it after a couple of rides on the new 2021 Can-Am Spyder RT Sea-to-Sky. For us, it was a perfect recipe to have his involvement in the series.”
Ethier noted that one of the challenges they faced shooting the series was that no one from Can-Am would be present at any of the shoots since they were stuck in Canada due to the COVID-19 situation. “We had nobody to go to the U.S. and vice versa because of the pandemic. So that’s why we needed Clint to be our ears and eyes there. We trusted him 100%, and we love what we’ve seen so far. It was a bit of a calculated gamble, but we are happy with how it turned out.”
Ethier said that they also have to thank the dealers who helped out with logistics and getting the units ready for Clint and the team at each location. “The dealers played a huge part. We worked with a few dealers throughout the project to help coordinate the meet-up point before shooting every morning. We have to specifically thank the dealers in Alcoa, TN, and West Hollywood in the LA area. Clint had the chance to meet the staff and get the know the vehicle at each location. The series would not have been possible without them.”
In the first episode, available on YouTube, Clint travels to Los Angeles on his Spyder RT to meet with Shooter Jennings (son of Waylon) about his journey to LA and musical legacy. The series runs through the end of this month, and we have linked the episodes below. We should note that the series is executive produced by production company and creative studio Riverside Entertainment (in partnership with Rolling Stone) who specializes in branded content creation. While there are moments of what seems scripted product shots, the overall feel of the series is authentic and interesting if you’re a music fan, especially of the history of some of the great genres that have come out of American culture. It’s somewhat ironic, however, that a Canadian company such as BRP recognizes the essential value in the roots of American music.
“Music is the soundtrack of any good road trip. It is why we are joining forces with music industry experts Rolling Stone to launch this video series and tap into our riders’ passion for great tunes and non-stop exploration,” said Martin Ethier, director, Global Marketing, Can-Am On-Road. “Inspired by the all-new Can-Am Spyder RT redesign that gives riders the confidence to ride further, Common Tread will feature the hottest music locales across the United States.”
These stories are more about lifestyle and adventure than about the mode of transportation. But it can’t be denied that visiting these special locations and music venues is more fun on a motorcycle, or in this case a three-wheeler. There’s something about the open air and seeing places from a different perspective on a bike vs. a car, and this series sort of unlocks that for the audience. My favorite episode is Ep. 3, which was shot in Clarksdale, MS, the home of the blues and the likes of Muddy Waters and many others who followed and influenced decades of rock musicians.
Ep 1 – L.A. – Shooter Jennings at the Viper Room; Sunset Sound and Dave’s Room. Model: Can-Am Spyder RT
Ep 2 – “The Caverns,” cave in Pelham, TN. The relationship between nature and music. Model: Can-Am Ryker Rally
Ep 3 – Clarksdale, Mississippi – Home of the Delta Blues; Kingfish, Ground Zero Blues Club, and the Delta Blues Museum. Model: Can-Am Spyder F3-T
Ep 4 – Secluded recording studios in Woodstock, NY, and music history of the town. Dreamland Studios and Allaire Studios. Model: Can-Am Spyder Sea-to-Sky
Ep 5 (coming soon) – New Orleans – The Revivalists; historic spots special to them such as Preservation Hall and Tipitinas. Model: Can-Am Spyder F3-S Special Series